Removing Ocean Plastic, Netherlands Slavery History, Ireland History, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, April 24, 2021


This is from November, but I just found it and it’s so cool I’m excepting it in. Duke University: New Webpage Highlights 52 Technologies to Fight Plastic Pollution in Our Oceans. “Duke University researchers have created a new online resource designed to help local governments, conservation groups, businesses and other stakeholders identify the best technologies to clean up plastic pollution in our oceans or prevent it from getting there in the first place. The Plastic Pollution Prevention and Collection Technology Inventory includes 52 different technologies, from solar-powered catamarans that use conveyor belts to scoop up floating debris, to underwater bubble tubes that force submerged bits of plastic to the surface where they can more easily be collected.”

NL Times: Massive archive of Dutch slavery past published in digital archive. “The national archive of the Netherlands launched a virtual archive containing around 1.9 million documents about the Dutch history of slavery. The archives consist of restored material from the West India Company, the commercial slave trader Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie, the Suriname Society and documents about the Dutch occupation of the coast of Guinea. Caretaker education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven launched the archive on Friday. It is mainly comprise slave purchase records, ship logs, plantation lists, cargo overviews and invoices. Personal letters are also included, though they have not been fully investigated.”

IrishCentral: “Ambitious” digitization of Tipperary’s Famine-era records underway. “Tipperary County Council Library Service holds a vast collection of Poor Law Union Minute Books, Rate Books, and Workhouse Registers, encompassing virtually the entire county. In January, staff at Tipperary County Council Library Service undertook an ambitious project to commence digitizing its Famine-related Minute Books from the Poor Law Unions in Borrisokane, Cashel, Clogheen, Clonmel, Nenagh, Roscrea, Thurles, and Tipperary.” It looks like the site will launch in mid-May.

Yale News: Songs of survival from Yale’s Fortunoff Archive of Holocaust testimonies. “‘Shtubuneltsto’ is revived on ‘Cry My Heart, Cry! Songs from Testimonies, Volume 2,’ the latest album of music drawn from the Fortunoff Archive’s collection of more than 4,400 video testimonies. In sharing their stories, the survivors occasionally recalled songs or poetry that touched them before or during the Holocaust. The new album and its 2019 predecessor, ‘Where is Our Homeland?,’ transform these memories into stylistically diverse collections of songs that showcase the rich cultures of the people who created, sang, and enjoyed them.” The music is free to listen to and there will be a virtual concert on April 28.

Harvard Crimson: Harvard Dance Project: A Virtual Premiere to Life-Changing Performances. “Creating art collaboratively is more difficult now than ever before. Despite the obstacles, the Harvard Dance Project launched its digital archive on April 15 consisting of month-long access to debuting performances, this time in a virtual format instead of a live premiere.”


Religion News Service: Likes and prayers: Facebook tests new ‘prayer post’ feature. “A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to Religion News Service that the social media platform is currently testing the prayer post feature. The idea for prayer posts grew out of the myriad ways users have connected over Facebook while distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the spokesperson.”


Roll Call: Veterans hit by huge pandemic-related records backlog. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the [National Personnel Records Center] has sat empty, with employees working remotely. And records requests, most of which require someone to physically search for documents within the building, have been piling up. Now, the backlog has grown to more than 499,000 requests, according to a spokesperson for the National Archives, which oversees the NPRC. The National Archives estimates that it will take 18 to 24 months to clear the backlog once the center is staffed at full capacity.”

NBC News: Census settlement: House seat numbers can’t be released before next week. “The numbers used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets can’t be released before next Monday, according to an agreement that settles litigation between the U.S. Census Bureau and a coalition of local governments and civil rights groups. The agreement filed in court on Thursday also requires the statistical agency to provide regular updates to the civil rights groups and local governments on the quality of the data used for drawing congressional and legislative districts.”

Motherboard: Bugs Allowed Hackers to Dox John Deere Tractor Owners. “A pair of bugs in John Deere’s apps and website could have allowed hackers to find and download the personal data of all owners of the company’s farming vehicles and equipment, according to a security researcher who found the vulnerabilities.”


Penn State News: Penn State center to advance AI tools to accelerate scientific progress. “A recently approved research center will unite Penn State researchers to explore the use of artificial intelligence as a tool to dramatically accelerate the scientific process, an initiative that the center’s organizers say could rapidly accelerate scientific progress.” Good morning, Internet…

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